Just as a background, I just finished my graduate school in August. I had three data chapters in my dissertation. My first data chapter was published long before graduation and was based on a different genetic dataset than my second and third.

My second and third data chapters were different analyses of the same SNP genotyping dataset (which I had generated). My second data chapter was just published, so I published the SNP dataset with it (as is generally expected). I need to convert my third data chapter into a manuscript, but due to other factors (e.g., looking for a postdoc, finding funding, etc.), it has sort of taken a back burner.

My dissertation doesn't become public until September 2018, so the general public (outside of witnessing conference presentations) doesn't have any access to my research from the third chapter. However, given that my dataset is public, I have some fears that I could get scooped. It's not too hard to replicate what I did.

In my context, would it be a good idea to get a somewhat revised but not quite ready for submission version posted as a biorxiv preprint to get it in the open? Or would that increase the odds?


With respect to being scooped, pre-publication does solve that issue, as you would have a record that could be cited, but that may work against you if you plan on revising the articles and having them published elsewhere. The reason for this is that many journals have an "exclusivity policy" that prevents them from considering articles that have been "published" elsewhere, including online repositories.

You should, therefore, check with the journals to which you plan to submit your papers and determine what their "prior publication" policies are before proceeding.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    Do you know where this exclusivity policy is actually common? It is inexistent in maths, and I only heard about such policies in three contexts: some parts of the humanities, the biology in the 60s, and glam magazines (Nature etc.). – Benoît Kloeckner Sep 22 '17 at 21:08
  • 2
    @BenoîtKloeckner: From Wiley's ethics page: "Journals from different disciplines vary in their approach to pre-print servers. Many biomedical journals would consider posting an article to a pre-print server to render any subsequent journal publication redundant. Thus an article submitted for consideration after having been posted to a pre-print server would be rejected." – aeismail Sep 22 '17 at 21:59

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.